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Friday, May 23, 2014

"Doon: Doon #1" by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Visit the Official Website of the Doon Series Here


Veronica doesn't think she's going crazy. But why can't anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months.

But the Scottish countryside holds other plans.

Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna's great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica's daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they've longed for...or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

DOON is loosely based on the premise of the musical Brigadoon, with permission from the ALan Jay Lerner Estate and the Frederick Loewe Foundation.

FORMAT: Doon is the first book in a proposed series. It is a YA romance novel with a few fantasy elements in it, but it is mostly a romance novel. It stands at 368 pages and was published by Blink on August 20, 2013 and the paperback will be released July 29, 2014.

ANALYSIS: On paper – or the flap of a book cover – Doon sounds like an amazing and slightly unique book that was just perfect for me. It promised to be 'loosely based' off of musical Brigadoon and it takes place in Scotland. Unfortunately, what was promised didn't really meet up to what was delivered.

The entire idea behind the story was fairly original and had so much potential, but extremely predictable, almost boring main characters, a slow moving plot, and irritating conversations and 'cutesy catch phrases' really just ruined the whole book.

I'll start with the main characters. The novel switches between the POV of Veronica and Mackenna. These characters were extremely irritating to the point it ruined the whole book.

Veronica is this 'gorgeous' beauty who doesn't know how beautiful she is, but that isn't the worst. She spends the entire novel swooning over this mysterious guy and whining/crying about how broken she is as a person all because her daddy left her and her boyfriend dumped her. While I understand the need for this back story, we – as readers – are reminded of Veronica's daddy issues and boyfriend woes every 5 seconds.

Mackenna is the opposite of Veronica, except she too doesn't realize she's beautiful. She is supposed to be fun-loving, but comes across as snarky, mean, and extremely jaded. Now, here is the kicker. She loves Broadway and musicals. So, every few moments she is comparing life to some favorite musical or saying these really cheesy phrases like 'Holy Hammerstein!' and ' Sweet Baby Sondheim'.

Maybe things have changed since I was a teen, but I can almost guarantee that teenage girls would not repeatedly make these phrases an everyday occurrence, multiple times throughout the day. It just seemed unrealistic and very tiring.

If the bad characterization of the two main characters wasn't bad enough, we are given the secondary character of James MacCrae and Duncan MacCrae. These are extremely handsome guys who come equipped with eight-pack abs, because six-pack abs just aren't sexy/hot enough. Unfortunately, these characters lack personality and are only developed from afar because we are given a look into life from Veronica/Mackenna.

Another huge issue with the book was the writing. The team of authors seemed set out to make a point that Veronica/Mackenna are BFFs. To make their point, they tell the readers that these two 'share a brain' at least a dozen times. I get that it is a cute phrase and all, but it really was overused.

In addition to the issue of the overuse of cute phrases, the use of a rather frustrating Scottish dialect made this novel a difficult read. Every individual who is from Scotland speaks with an abundance of dinnas, kennas, tas, fers, and other random words. Every single time someone opened their mouth they had this come out of their mouths.

Overall, the entire book – which should have been great – was executed in an extremely juvenile way. This would have been great had two 13 year olds written this, but it wasn't. I understand it is a YA novel, but I really don't see this appealing to its main audience. And it certainly is not appealing to anyone outside of the main audience.

Sadly, what could have been a wonderful novel with a few slightly typical YA quirks turned into something completely different. I kept reading hoping it would get better, but it didn't. I would not advice people to not read this book, I would just say to approach it with caution and a very, very open mind.


Casey said...

Cindy, I think you hit the nail on the head. This story is both conventional and transparent, which makes it extremely boring. On top of that, there was zilch in the way of chemistry between any of the characters; the friendship feels forced and contrived, and the romances are even less believable. What's more, there were at least four instances of poor editing--incorrect word choice and grammatical errors that should have been caught before publication. Sigh. I too had high hopes from the premise, and I was extremely disappointed.

Cindy said...

I really tried to be open to this book. It being a first in the series and all, but the more I read the more I was like - why are these people friends? The whole 'I love him, but he can't love me' plot was underdeveloped and not very detailed.

I understand having a goal of creating a story with your best friend (as the authors are best friends in real life), and maybe to the relationships were so detailed in their minds that it didn't come across in the book - I don't know but it just didn't work.

Anonymous said...

I disagree it may be because i'm younger but I thought it was a cute story about 2 best friends finding love and happiness which we all want. So I think people should read the book and look closer to the meaning. I agree with a little about the errors but maybe they were just excited about the book coming out.


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